Indian Finance Minister says delivering Kadirgamar
End of war: Chance to shape history
India has not hesitated to come to Sri Lanka’s
assistance at this crucial juncture:
The effective elimination of terrorism and secessionism from Sri
Lanka offers it an opportunity to shape history; an opportunity to
permanently change the complexion of the relationship between the
majority community and the minorities; an opportunity to address the
legitimate grievances of all communities; and an opportunity to bring
permanent peace and stability to this great nation, said Indian Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial
lecture on Saturday.
From India with love
demining team in Lanka
* Additional shelter material
* Help to revive agriculture
These are sine qua non for building the Sri Lanka of the future - a
future in which all communities will live side by side and enjoy the
same rights and privileges and get the same opportunities, he said.
After freeing the Tamils from terrorist forces, it is natural that
the first and primary focus of the Government has been to ensure the
immediate welfare and safety of its citizens.
Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee paid a courtesy call on
President Mahinda Rajapaksa at President’s House yesterday.
Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Deputy High
Commissioner of India Wickram Misri and Finance Ministry
Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara were also present. Picture by
Thousands of Tamils have come out of the conflict zone traumatized by
the conflict and harbouring deep concern and fear of what the future
holds for them, the Minister said.
These citizens need reassurance. They yearn to return to their homes
and resume their livelihood. Several thousand Internally Displaced
Persons have indeed been resettled recently and we welcome this
development, he said.
“However, many more await their turn for resettlement in camps.
We are confident that their speedy return is receiving the highest
consideration of the Government,” he added.
India has not hesitated to come to Sri Lanka’s assistance at this
This is only natural. We have announced an assistance of Rs 500
crores for the rehabilitation and resettlement in the North and are
willing to do more, the Minister said.
“We are moving from purely relief efforts to a broader rehabilitation
and reconstruction phase. Our assistance had so far covered humanitarian
supplies such as food, medicines and other essential supplies,” he said.
“We set up an emergency field hospital that treated over 50,000
people in the past six months.
Four Indian demining teams are working in the Northern and three more
are on their way. We are sending additional shelter material. We are
also providing assistance to revive agriculture and livelihood in the
\“Both sides are discussing assistance in reconstruction of critical
civil infrastructure in Sri Lanka, including railways.
We are now discussing larger projects for the population in key
cities who stand traumatized by the conflict. At the same time, we have
not lost sight of the urgent requirements in the Eastern Province as
well as of the Indian Origin Tamils in up-country areas. India is doing
and will continue to do what it can to assist Sri Lanka in this critical
phase of its history”, the Minister said. The vision of Kadirgamar went
far beyond the immediate.
He believed that durable peace should be based on a constitutional
arrangement acceptable to all communities in Sri Lanka based on
democracy, human rights and the rule of law, he said.
“There are many things in common between the two nations in terms of
its history, culture, and philosophy and customs”, Mukherjee said.